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not my president

Congressman Jim McDermott will hold a public forum in two days - I'm in his district. He had this to say:

"The President had no plan when he ordered the invasion of Iraq over 25,000 U.S. casualties ago, and his "New Way Forward" is nothing less than another way to fail. Almost four grim years later, there are at least 21,500 new reasons to oppose this--- that's the number of additional U.S. soldiers the President intends to needlessly put in harm's way in his latest Iraq pronouncement.

"The President seems determined to make Iraq the Vietnam of the Mideast, no matter what top U.S. military commanders tell him behind the scenes, no matter what the American people tell him at the polls, and no matter what the Iraqi people tell the world every new and bloody day across Iraq.

"The President's determination to escalate his Iraq War demonstrates just how much he is out of touch with Iraq's grim reality. Risking more U.S. lives in Iraq will only produce more U.S. casualties, at a time when the President should strategically re-deploy U.S. soldiers to a new mission that can succeed, beginning with sealing the porous borders with Iran and Syria from which guns and hatred are flowing into Iraq.

"The President has turned the U.S. into an occupying force in Iraq, and the President's claim that the Iraqis are behind his proposal is just like the President's earlier claim that the U.S. had irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is absolutely right to call for a vote on the President's intention to escalate this war. The American people told the President last November to change course and end the Iraq War. It's time for the new Congress to acknowledge that we, at least, heard the message, because, clearly, the President hasn't. And it's time for the new Congress to acknowledge the common sense of the American people who are demanding that we make decisions that put U.S. soldiers in harm's way based on our national security and not the intransigence of a stubborn President.

"The American news media has uncovered and disclosed that the President didn't even bother to wait to deliver his speech to the American people and the Congress before sending the first installment of his escalation to Iraq. This undermines his credibility and underscores the need for Congress to act immediately to hold this President accountable."

"The responsibility of Congress should be to continue our support for U.S. soldiers in harm's way in Iraq today by providing funds for food, medicine, body armor, etc., and by demanding a plan to strategically redeploy out of harm's way before the end of this year. The responsibility of Congress is not to waste new money and accept putting more U.S. lives at risk so that this president can escalate a war without a shred of evidence that his rhetoric has any basis in fact. This painful lesson was learned in Vietnam a generation ago. The President would do well to learn from history rather than repeat its mistakes.

"The only thing the Iraq War has done for the real war on terror is to make it worse. Escalation will not make Iraq safer, but it will cost more U.S. lives and waste billions more in U.S. money."


Suggested by a friend:

The Battle Hymn of the Republic updated
by Mark Twain

Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword;
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger's wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps;
I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps--
His night is marching on.

I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal;
Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel;
Lo, Greed is marching on!"

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;*
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our god is marching on!

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom--and for others' goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich--
Our god is marching on.

* NOTE: In Manila the Government has placed a certain industry under the
protection of our flag. (M.T.)


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